#20: Never buy new kids clothes
Have you heard the figure for how much it costs to raise a child to the age of 18 in the U.S.? Around $245,000. I like to think I’m shrinking that number a little bit by not buying my child brand new clothes. it has been easy to do because I’ve found there are tons of hand-me-downs getting passed around. Good places to look are: Freecycle, free listings on Craigslist, parents groups and listservs, childcare resources and friends. Sometimes special friends give my son gifts of brand new clothes and I have to admit that since it is so rare – it is quite a thrill to put him in an outfit that has never been worn before. I read that caregivers spend in the range of $28 – $52 per month on clothes. That’s $6,048 – $11,232 over 18 years. Most single parent households are on some kind of budget and this is an area where it is quite easy to save a lot. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (I recently offered some hand-me-downs to a friend and she was shocked and practically recoiled – which was an eye-opening experience for me and a reminder that values sometimes differ) but it works for me!